Botanical artist
Marina Kiselyova

About Marina


Marina Kiselyova was born in Odessa, Ukraine in 1983. She showed an early interest in art, but pursued a different path academically. She graduated from Odessa National University’s Applied Mathematics faculty in 2006 and embarked on a career in IT. In 2010, she relocated to London, where she discovered the Shirley Sherwood collection of contemporary botanical art at Kew Gardens. She was fascinated by the scientific and artistic aspects of botanical illustration and decided to study the history and techniques of this genre.

Marina became particularly drawn to tulips, which have a rich and colourful history in art and culture. She visited the famous Keukenhof tulip park in the Netherlands, where she was inspired by the diversity and beauty of these flowers. She draws tulips of different varieties which she grows in her own garden. Her second favourite subject is dried structurally complex plants, which she prefers to portray in monochrome with pen and ink.

Marina’s favourite mediums are watercolour on vellum and ink on paper. Vellum is a type of calf’s parchment that was historically used for botanical illustration and is still produced by several small companies across the world. It has a smooth and luminous surface that allows for fine details and subtle colours. Marina takes great care of archival qualities of materials she uses and tests all her paints for lightfastness before using them to ensure the longevity of her artwork.

As an active member of the botanical art community Marina has participated in numerous exhibitions in the United Kingdom, Europe and USA. She has received several awards for her work, including the Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medal (2019) and various certificates from the Society of Botanical Artists in Great Britain. She continues to explore new subjects and techniques in her quest to capture the essence of nature in her art.

Exhibitions and awards

  • 2017 SBA "Changing Seasons", Westminster Central Hall, London
  • 2018 Botanical Art Worldwide "Flora of Ukraine", Kiev
  • 2019 SBA "Plantae", Mall Galleries, London — Certificate of Botanical Merit
  • 2019 RHS Botanical Art and Photography Show, Lindley Hall, London — Gold medal (group)
  • 2020 SBA "Plantae", Mall Galleries, London
  • 2020 "Botanical Diversity", Kreativraum Gallery, Vienna
  • 2020 "Manic Botanic", Blue Review Project Space (Curated by Garvey|Simons and Dina Brodsky)
  • 2020 "Botanical Art Exhibition", Natural History Museum, Kiev
  • 2020 "Пора любования", Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden, Saint Petersburg
  • 2021 "Искусство созерцания", Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden, Saint Petersburg
  • 2021 "Five and Under", Arcadia Contemporary, New York
  • 2021 "В поисках прекрасного", Saint Petersburg Botanical Garden, Saint Petersburg
  • 2022 SBA "Plantae", Mall Galleries, London — Certificate of Botanical Merit, Exhibiting Excellence in Watercolour, Exhibiting Excellence in Ink
  • 2023 SBA "Plantae", Mall Galleries, London
  • 2023 "Res Naturales", Accesso Galleria, Pietrasanta